In a five-part series last week, USA Today illustrated just how deficient mental health care is in the U.S., and why, as the newspaper said, “It doesn’t have to be this way.”
“The USA could dramatically improve the lives of the 10 million Americans with serious mental illness if it would make wider use of proven programs,” the paper concluded.
Treating mental illness is good and proper not only for the people who suffer from it, but for the nation. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, our neglect of serious mental illness costs $444 billion a year, mostly from lost earnings, and figures heavily into addiction, homelessness and incarceration.
Housing and employment programs supported by medical treatment have been proved effective in several studies to lift the mentally ill out of darkness and into the light of productive living. According to USA Today, some programs have tripled the employment rate of people with serious mental illness, but only about 2 in 100 people in the public mental health system receive either service, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency.
The USA Today series tells the stories of individuals who have benefited from getting the proper treatment to demonstrate that we have the potential to improve millions of lives.
To read the series, link here.